Perpich News

Harding and Lein Walseth Present Workshop at Art and Science Academy

April 10, 2023

Mary Harding, Perpich Dance Instructor and Dance Education Specialist, and Dr. Stephanie Lein Walseth, Theater Education Specialist, presented “Using the Tools of Theater and Dance to Build Arts Literacy” to faculty and staff at Art and Science Academy, a K-8 arts and science integration school in Isanti, MN. This charter school is one of the Perpich CAPP sites. The participants engaged in activities that promoted community building and literacy concepts of entering text, comprehending text, and reflection.

Mary Harding has been head of the dance program at Perpich Arts High School since 1990. She created the curriculum for the current program and teaches the dance majors as well as elective courses. She has also worked on the Minnesota FACS (Framework for Arts Curriculum) project, the Minnesota Arts Standards and has presented at the Minnesota Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development conference, Minnesota DAPE conference, national and state AAPHERD conventions and at the Minnesota Dance Educator’s Coalition workshops. In her dance career she has performed professionally with ballet, jazz and modern companies in repertory ranging from Pas de Quatre to works by Bebe Miller. While a member of the Zenon Dance Company, Harding taught master classes and dance residencies in schools across the nation. In addition to her work at the arts high school, she continues to freelance as a choreographer, performer and teacher in the Twin Cities. She received the SURDNA Arts Teachers Fellowship for 2002 and studied at Bates Dance Festival as a result of this fellowship. The National Dance Association and Sportime named her the National Dance Teacher of the Year for 2002 and she was a featured teacher in the Annenberg Foundation’s video series “The Art of Teaching the Arts” which premiered in 2005. She received a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the College of St. Catherine. Her research, “Peer Coaching in the Arts Classroom,” received the Sister Ann Harvey Action Research Award in 2008 and was published in the June 2009 edition of Journal of Dance Education. Her article, “Assessment in the High School Technique Class: Creating Thinking Dancers,” was published in the September 2012 issue of the Journal of Dance Education.

Stephanie Lein Walseth, Ph.D. is a theater educator, artist, administrator, and scholar with over 20 years experience working with students and artists of all ages. She is a founding core artistic group member of Full Circle Theater Company, and she has served tenures with Penumbra Theatre Company, Mu Performing Arts, Mixed Blood Theatre, and Sod House Theater, among many other professional companies in Minnesota and across the country. Stephanie received her Ph.D. in Theatre Historiography from the University of Minnesota, and her research focuses on theaters of color and issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion. She has served as an instructor and curriculum developer at Augsburg University, the University of Minnesota, and Penumbra. Her writing has appeared in HowlRound, Theatre Topics, e-misférica, The Baylor Journal of Theatre and Performance, and the anthology Theater, Performance and Change.